Mobility startup Damon Motors enters e-moto arena with EV debut

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Vancouver-based mobility startup Damon Motorcycles has entered the EV arena with a preview of its first e-moto, the Hypersport Pro.

The seed-stage firm had beforehand targeted on creating digital security expertise — like its 360-degree radar detection system — to enhance two-wheelers made by different producers.

Damon has decided to create its personal EV mannequin designed to beat widespread flaws it sees in present motorbike choices.

“We are for the first time being black and white about the fact that we are a full-on producer and we have a motorcycle we’re going to unveil at CES,” Damon Motorcycle founder and CEO Jay Giraud informed TechCrunch.

That machine is the totally electrical Damon Hypersport Pro. The information is a pre-announcement forward of the total January debut, so Giraud wouldn’t provide a lot in the way in which of core specs — corresponding to value, vary, charge-time and efficiency.

He was clear the motorbike is supposed to be a direct competitor to the most recent e-motos launched by Harley-Davidson and California-based enterprise Zero Motorcycles — and to the gas-motorcycle market total.

“We’ve come at this and the motorcycle problem in a way that no other company has,” Giraud defined.

“We’re trying to change the industry by addressing the issues of safety and handling and comfort and the problems that have persisted with everyone in the industry, including all the e-moto companies today.”

Damon’s Hypersport Pro is designed across the firm’s CoPilot system, which makes use of sensors, radar and cameras to detect and monitor shifting objects across the motorbike, together with blind spots, and alert riders to hazard.

Damon has additionally taken on the issue of one-size-fits-all in motorbike design, integrating a system on its Hypersport Pro that enables for adjustable ergonomics. The startup’s debut mannequin will enable riders to electronically shift the motorbike’s windscreen, seat, footpegs and handlebars to accommodate for various positions and situations — from extra upright metropolis driving to extra aggressive high-speed runs.

Damon Motorcycles is taking pre-orders for its Hypersport Pro and can skip sellers, opting to make use of a direct-sales and repair mannequin just like Tesla . The startup’s Vancouver facility is provided to construct 500 bikes a 12 months, in keeping with Giraud.

The firm just lately introduced on Derek Dorresteyn, the previous CTO of e-moto startup Alta, as its COO. Full specs of the Hypersport Pro will come subsequent month at CES, however Giraud did provide a glimpse, saying it might be extra aggressive and extra highly effective than present e-moto choices.

Harley-Davidson launched its first e-motorcycle — the $29Ok LiveWire — in 2019 and California EV startup Zero Motorcycles launched its $19Ok SR/F, each in bids to go take e-motos mass-market. Aside from the price-gap, each have comparable cost instances (about an hour), efficiency and vary (round 100 miles for mixed metropolis and freeway driving).

The U.S. motorbike business has been in fairly unhealthy form for the reason that recession. New gross sales dropped by roughly 50% since 2008 — with sharp declines in possession by everybody beneath 40 — and have by no means recovered.

Harley-Davidon’s EV pivot is more likely to deliver e-moto choices from the opposite massive gasoline producers, corresponding to Honda and Yamaha, that are additionally trying to revive gross sales to youthful riders.

LiveWire Charging Harley Davidson

Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire

With Damon’s pivot to e-moto manufacturing, the startup shouldn’t be alone. Italy’s Energica is increasing distribution of its high-performance EVs within the U.S. Other opponents embrace e-moto startup Fuell, with plans to launch its $10Ok, 150-mile vary Flow within the close to future.

Of course, there have already been some velocity bumps and market attrition, with three e-moto startups — Alta Motors, Mission Motors and Brammo — pressured to energy down over the past a number of years.

So how does Damon Motors plan to succeed as a brand new entrant in a bike market with stagnant new bikes gross sales and elevated EV competitors from established OEMs and startups?

“We have so many advantages the others don’t have and we’re leveraging everyone of their weaknesses,” founder Jay Giraud mentioned. The firm’s direct-sale mannequin will lend to extra aggressive pricing and better margins for R&D, he mentioned.

Then there are what Damon Motorcycles sees as its Hypersport Pro’s purposely designed comparative benefits over present producers.

“You’re gonna love the horsepower and range and all that good stuff, but that’s not what makes Damon different from every one else,” defined Giraud.

“What’s different is that it’s a safer motorbike with the safety features and transforming ergonomics that will keep you from smashing into someone’s car,” he mentioned.

Not crashing into different individuals’s vehicles is definitely a compelling function to supply in a bike. Time and gross sales will in the end inform how Damon fares within the inevitable cycle of occasions — profitability, failure, acquisition — that may play out within the more and more aggressive e-moto house.